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Jun 17, 2014

2 men acquitted of sexual crimes

Jerod Dawson

A Caye Caulker businessman, who was accused of sexually assaulting a thirteen year-old student on the island more than a year ago, was today freed of the sexual offense of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Forty-two year old Jerod Dawson was accused by the minor of placing a “hickey” on her neck on May twenty-third, 2013 while she was at the island’s basketball court. Dawson told News Five his acquittal is bitter sweet and that he can now redeem himself since the allegations made against him forced him to close his business, Art Inn Sanity Tattoo Shop. The trial was before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and Dawson was represented by Attorney Kathleen Lewis, who in cross-examination managed to extract from the young girl that she fabricated the story against Dawson. Lewis made a no case submission which was upheld and Dawson was freed. In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate said that the main difficulty was the credibility of the victim who gave two contradicting statements also claiming that she was having a relationship with Dawson, but there was no evidence of that.  There was another acquittal today of a father for the sexual assault of his fifteen year old daughter. The forty year-old father saw the charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon his daughter dismissed by the Chief Magistrate, when the girl recanted her story. She told the court that she fabricated the story against her father because he threatened to beat her after she told him that she had lost the money her mother gave her to go to the store. Initially, she refused to give evidence, but the prosecutor referred to a statement she gave to police in which she claimed that while she was sleeping in her bed, her father came into her room fondled her breast and touched her on her private parts. That’s when she told the court her statement was a complete lie. With that her father was freed. 

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